He weaves a mystery that can match any of our best thriller writers

In another wonderful review for No Love Lost, Colin Garrow says

Robert Crouch manages to create a delightfully complex plot with twists and turns galore and more suspects than you can shake a doggy snack at. The plot is his best yet and kept me enthralled from start to finish. With a writing style that includes witty one-liners and precise plotting, he weaves a mystery that can match any of our best thriller writers.

 

 

Such a brilliant series, so well written

In her review of No Love Lost, Lesley from The Bookwormery says

Kent is a marvellously complex, likeable character with an engaging humour and slight eccentricity about him. The plot has twists, turns and some shocks and heartbreaking moments too. It really has it all. Such a brilliant series, so well written it is completely engrossing from start to finish.

No Love Lost Launch

The plot is absolutely fantastic

In her review of No Love Lost, Chelle from Curled Up With A Good Book says,

Each time I read a new Kent Fisher mystery I think it’s my favourite, and then the next one trumps it! I love the series so much, adore Kent (the complex character that he is) and the other characters, love the mystery and intrigue and enjoy the writing style so much.

No Love Lost Launch

An addictive mystery series

Yvonne at Me and My Books believes No Love Lost is part of an addictive mystery series. Brilliant from start to finish.

The author really has woven a wonderful tale of mystery, revenge, deceit and also a tragedy. It was a brilliant book and I think it may be my favourite so far and also the one that shocked me the most with events. It draws things from the past and the present and they have been twisted and turned into such an addictive read.

No Love Lost Launch

A cracking television series

Karen Cole of Hair Past A Freckle believes the Kent Fisher mysteries would make a cracking television series.

The superb characterisation, evocative landscape descriptions and the witty dialogue all perfectly complement the intriguing cases that Kent attempts to solve – and as always, Columbo the Westie steals every scene he is in!

No Love Lost is the most emotionally affecting story so far.

No Love Lost Launch

Murder Plot by Kevin McCarthy

24th September 2020.   3.5 stars.

I found this entertaining cosy mystery buried among the books on my Kindle. The story’s set in 1975. GP, Lance Elliott, becomes involved in a murder investigation when members of the nearby allotment start dying in suspicious circumstances. Being a local GP, most of the victims and suspects are known to him, though this doesn’t seem to help him much as he grapples with the investigation.

The story is told from Lance’s viewpoint in a gentle, humorous way as if he constantly doubts what’s happening to him. While he’s an almost reluctant investigator, his father, a retired GP, has no self-doubts, throwing himself into the fray with gusto. The scenes between the two of them are among the  most amusing and memorable in the story.

With the help of the local police and the usual red herrings and secrets, the story almost strolls along until the final stages when the momentum builds to an exciting climax and reveal.

If you enjoy a gentle cosy mystery with a good puzzle at its heart, and no bad language or unnecessary violence, then this story is worth a look.

Description

It’s 1975, Lord Lucan has been named as the murderer of Sandra Rivett, and in a quietly anonymous London suburb, it seems that murder is most certainly in the air…

Retired hard-man Charlie Daniels dies on his allotment. Verdict: death by natural causes. But Dr Lance Elliot isn’t so sure – especially when more local residents start dying!

With the caustic Inspector Masson looking over his shoulder, he is soon uncovering the murky secrets of the Thornton Heath Horticulture and Allotment Association in his hunt for the killer. And even Lance himself will discover that the past can never stay buried forever…

Murder Plot by Kevin McCarthy

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

15th September 2020.   5 stars.

This is the first novel to feature Miss Marple. In her first appearance, she’s described as a bit of a busybody, who’s always right in her assessment of any situation. The vicar, who relates the story, isn’t too kind in his opinion of her, but he slowly grows to realise she sees what most people miss.

While some of the attitudes are of their time in the 1930s, the story is written in a direct style that feels fresh and perfectly at home in today’s world. As you’d expect from the author, the plot is complex and clever, with plenty of suspects and red herrings to keep you guessing. The touches of humour lighten the story where needed as the cunning plot is slowly unravelled.

The characterisation is first rate, especially Inspector Slack, who’s like a rude, overbearing whirlwind, dismissive of Miss Marple in the first instance. Her knowledge and understanding of people is drawn from parallels within the village of St Mary Mead. Naturally Slack doesn’t have the time or patience to listen to the tales she relates to make her points.

While Miss Marple plays only a modest role, her short, incisive appearances reveal the determined and uncompromising sleuth she will become.

If you’ve never read Agatha Christie or Miss Marple, this is the perfect introduction and a delight from start to finish.

Description

‘Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later. From seven potential murderers, Miss Marple must seek out the suspect who has both motive and opportunity.

The Murder at the Vicarage

The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

30th August 2020.   4 stars.

It’s no secret that I prefer private detectives and sleuths to police procedural crime fiction. It’s much more challenging for a sleuth to solve a murder, especially when the killing is in 1789 and you’re a woman.

But that’s exactly what Ottilia Draycott must do when a marchioness is found murdered in her bed. It doesn’t help when the marchioness’s husband, Lord Polbrook, fled the house during the night. His mother Sybilla steps into the household to restore calm with her companion, Ottilia.

From the moment Ottilia sets foot in the house, sparks start to fly. Direct, determined and masterful at dealing with people under duress, she makes an immediate impression. She’s soon delving into the secrets and suspicions upstairs and downstairs, following a twisting trail, strewn with the usual deceptions and lies. While she ferrets away inside the house, rumours and accusations are rife outside as news spreads.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, driven at a good pace by Ottilia’s superlative performance and humour. The characters are engaging and believable. The plot has enough twists and turns for mystery lovers, and there’s an undercurrent of romance to add a little spice to the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical murder mysteries and a memorable sleuth.

Description

1789, London

When Emily Fanshawe, Marchioness of Polbrook, is found strangled in her bedchamber, suspicion immediately falls on those residing in the grand house in Hanover Square.

Emily’s husband – Randal Fanshawe, Lord Polbrook – fled in the night and is chief suspect – much to the dismay of his family.

Ottilia Draycott is brought in as the new lady’s companion to Sybilla, Dowager Marchioness and soon finds herself assisting younger son, Lord Francis Fanshawe in his investigations.

Can Ottilia help clear the family name? Does the killer still reside in the house?

Or could there be more to the mystery than meets the eye?

The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

No Obvious Cause by Valerie Keogh

18th August 2020.    4 stars.

This is the second book in the series, building on the characters and relationships in the first, No Simple Death, which I reviewed here.

When a man with no obvious enemies is poisoned by an imported vegetable that can kill if not properly prepared, Sergeant West’s murder investigation soon grinds to a halt. He’s also thrown out of his normal rhythm by the return of Edel Johnson, who featured in the first story. Despite his feelings for her, he manages to alienate and aggravate her.

With a man down and crime on the increase in Dublin, he struggles to keep his team motivated and on track to solve the murder. But once the mystery is unlocked, there’s a race against time in the exciting climax.

I thoroughly enjoyed my second outing with West and his sidekick, Andrews, who make a great team with plenty of banter and humour. You get to know more about them as they struggle to make sense of something that makes no sense. The romantic attraction between West and Edel adds another dimension to this well-paced and written crime story, which sits at the cosy end of the spectrum.

I’m not a big fan of violent and gritty crime fiction as I want to be entertained by engaging characters and bamboozled by a good plot. If that’s how you like your crime fiction, I would recommend this book and series.

Description

A murder followed by a series of random, motiveless crimes leave Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West and his team puzzled.

When Edel Johnson arrives at the scene of a crime Mike is taken aback, more so when he discovers she is now working with a victim support group. He has feelings for her, but he is the garda who investigated her husband’s murder, and their relationship is complicated.

With crime in Dublin’s suburbs at an all-time high, and his superiors breathing down his neck, West doesn’t need the distraction.  But someone wants Edel out of the way, and it’s up to West to find out who…

No Obvious Cause